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Thespian2

Profile Information

Name: Ken Attaway
Gender: Male
Hometown: Marietta, Georgia
Home country: USA
Current location: Middle LaHave, Nova Scotia, Canada
Member since: Tue Dec 24, 2013, 11:31 AM
Number of posts: 2,741

About Me

Retired Chairman of the Visual and Performing Arts, Raleigh, NC AB/MA Georgia State University PhD University of Houston Author/writer US Citizen living in Canada.

Journal Archives

Why Darren Wilson will possibly not be charged.

Found this letter to the editor of the UK Guardian. The author expresses opinions held by RWNJ's who have never known the process of analytical thinking. Perhaps thinking itself is just a bit beyond his capabilities.

"dallasdunlap Glen Tucker 29m ago

The grand jury is necessary to determine if there is probable cause to believe a crime has been committed. Adding up all the public statements of all the witnesses and the autopsy reports, I would say that, IMHO, Wilson did not break any law in the shooting of Brown.
Tasers have a range of 15 feet and require both needles to be embedded in order to work. Apparently, Wilson didn't have a Taser anyway.
It is much harder than you think to shoot someone in the leg. If you have your gun out, and an assailant gets to you, there is a good chance you'll be killed with your own gun unless you shoot him. Police are taught to fire at the center of mass (the torso) and to keep firing until the threat is down.
The US is not a Nazi state. If you want to change the law so that police aren't allowed to pursue felony suspects, you are perfectly free to approach your state legislators and try to sell them on that idea.
If you want to change the laws on self-defense, you can follow the above procedures.
If you don't want police to shoot people who attack them, you'll have to restrict job opportunities in the police forces to people who are professional boxers or football players."

The only law broken by Darren Wilson, according to competent witnesses, was "Thou Shalt Not Kill."
Wilson's life was under no threat at all. Will all HELL break loose in Ferguson if Wilson is not charged with murder? Gov. Jay Nixon thinks so.

I have found the "Death Panels"

[link:http://theguardian.com/society/2014/oct/29/how-sick-are-worlds-healthcare-systems-nhs-china-india-us-germany|

snarled about by the ignorant talking heads of the RepuliCons, i.e., Palin, et al. From today's Guardian (UK):

"In fact, while the US can boast some of the best doctors and most advanced medical technology in the world, it doesn’t really have a coherent healthcare system at all. Healthcare in the US is private insurance-based and decentralized, with most care providers owned locally by private companies, and local and state governments controlling access to federal programs.

The private and public systems that overlap in some areas, and leave gaps in others, make the US the country that spends the most per capita and as a percentage of GDP of any country in the world, but paradoxically consistently last among comparable nations in measures of quality of coverage such as infant mortality.

Because their cost is decided by private companies, individual procedures can be extraordinarily expensive. A single MRI scan in some parts of the country can cost as much as $2,871 (£1,780); an appendectomy as much as $29,426 (£18,000), and a caesarean-section delivery as much as $26,305 (£16,000), according to a report by the International Federation of Health Plans. Some procedures can be as much as eight times the price of the equivalent operation in the UK, and a 2013 study by NerdWallet Health showed that medical bills are the biggest cause of bankruptcy in the US."

Did you find the "Death Panels?" Hint: check out "insurance companies." Americans deserve better than their hodgepodge, mostly inadequate system, Affordable Care. Congress and Obama's administration should hang their collective heads in shame for not getting insurance companies out of the health care system. With America's resources, no citizen should be without adequate health care.


Bachelor of Arts degree now equivalent to a high school diploma

Having taught on several levels in the US education system, including high school and university, I was not at all surprised when I read the following comment in the UK Guardian (online):
David Null 1 Jul 2014
(speaking of American education)
"Yes, you can get small classes at $40,000+ a year.... I used to teach at a liberal arts college. And also at a big R1 state university. I guess what struck me at the time was that students had to pay to get the level of education I had gotten for free in high school in Italy. All my students were taking courses titled 'Introduction to...' (chemistry, English lit, algebra etc) which made me wonder what exactly they had studied in high school. I got the impression high school was a parking station for hormonal teenagers where very little learning was accomplished, which meant that a postgraduate degree was the bare minimum to reach university level education."

While I do not paint all students with a broad brush, my 40 years of experience leads me to see much truth in David Null's statement. Furthermore, with the abandonment of public education for voucher systems and charter schools, I see high school education suffering even more. When we add that far-right religious fanatics are doing all in their power to re-write the curriculum to abandon fact-driven education and replace it with their own fantasy world, education in American public schools is breathing its last breath. I wish it wasn't true.

Good news from NC

The State of NC sent me a post card today. The legislature magnanimously allowed retirees a raise in our pensions earned by spending years educating the children. Such a raise has not been given for so many years, I can't remember the last one. Our generous increase will not put us level with the Koch's, but it will keep us near the poverty line. The amount? 1%. Per. Year. 1%? Ironic isn't it? My share of this great wealth is $23 per month or the cost of two bottles of cheap white wine.

I shall now bow down to the NC State Legislature and sing hosannas while I sip a glass of my retirement increase.

On edit, the $23 was for 2 months. Guess I'll have to settle for one bottle of wine.

The Federal Government

[link:http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/07/18/some-of-israel-s-top-defenders-say-it-s-time-to-end-u-s-aid.html|

pouring US tax money into Israel allows this country to continue its inhuman purging of Palestinians, destroying the traditional Palestinian lands, and to continue the slaughter currently taking place. From my dictionary, a brief explanation of why Palestinians deserve their homeland, stolen at the end of WWII.

"In biblical times Palestine comprised the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. The land was controlled at various times by the Egyptian, Assyrian, Persian, and Roman empires before being conquered by the Arabs in ad 634. It was part of the Ottoman Empire from 1516 to 1918. The name Palestine was used as the official political title for the land west of the Jordan mandated to Britain in 1920; in 1948, the state of Israel was established in what was traditionally Palestine, but the name continued to be used in the context of the struggle for territory and political rights of displaced Palestinian Arabs. In 1993, an agreement was signed between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization giving some autonomy to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank and setting up the Palestine National Authority and a police force, but this proved unsuccessful in bringing the conflict to a resolution."

Will the US government continue to pour its tax money into a country that doesn't need it? Could the money better be used to solve the many problems facing America? Should the current administration continue to send armaments to Israelis whose primary motivation is to destroy the Palestinians? How does this war help the US in the middle east?

I have questions, does anyone have answers?


W Bush

Watching the "Shock and Awe" bombing in Iraq, an example of W's earlier "art work." Hard to watch the destruction created by my country in an illegal war, brought on by right-wing criminals. Like so many of my fellow countrymen, I hated the war and the man who started it on behalf of the military-industrial complex. One of my reactions was to write this poem because writing is what I do.

Terror

Too many white crosses reach toward the sky;
christian and muslim dead together
in the fertile crescent, the cradle of civilization.
The son looks, smiles, laughs.
He does not fear the death of others.
He cannot explain why
military and civilians, friendly or hostile, must die.
The anguished cries from war-broken bodies
do not penetrate his rigid mind and frozen heart.
He does not hear the death of others.
Aides read numbers; propagandists keep the pictures
of flag-draped coffins hidden from public view.
His minions draw the battle plans.
He flexes his muscles for the feral pleasure of the flex. *
He smirks and laughs and jokes before being told.
the numbers of the dead.
He does not care to see the pictures of the lifeless shells.
He flexes his muscles
and more white crosses rise to meet the sky.

*line borrowed from David Hare. British dramatist

I believe that these thoughts are descriptive of the horrible criminal who stole the presidency twice. I have great difficulty today watching that video depicting the deaths of so many innocent people.

If there are any hells, George W. Bush will have, all to himself, one.
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